PRO Kids is celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2023. In its 25 years, the registered charity has helped 27,481 children and youth access recreational programs when their families could not afford the fees. These activities provide extensive benefits to growing children and youth in our community. Through sport, art and cultural programing they learn life skills, participate in healthy activity and make friends and memories.

“It’s hard to summarize just how significant PRO Kids is and how appreciative my family and I are for all the opportunities it has created,” said Melanie Tibishkogijig, PRO Kids Board Member and mother of past participants. “PRO Kids supported their love for sports and activities. It helped to keep them focused on a more positive path in life. From personal experience, I know for many families, this would not be possible without PRO Kids.”

For over 12 years, Tibishkogijig was able to access a number of activities for her children and grandchildren, including lacrosse, gymnastics, dance and hockey with PRO Kids assistance. “Hockey is huge for my family,” added Tibishkogijig. “My son is now over 20 years old and it helped him through his entire youth. My daughter started in IP1 with PRO Kids help, and went on to play with Thunder Bay Women’s Hockey.”

PRO Kids works closely with over 200 activity partners, such as local hockey groups, who donate spaces in their programs. Since 2010, PRO Kids partners have donated more than $1,500,000 worth of spaces in their programs collectively.

“I am so impressed with how our community activity providers have rallied to level the playing field for Thunder Bay kids,” said Laura Daniele, PRO Kids Coordinator. “They always say…‘we do it for the kids’. They are the true heroes behind the success of PRO Kids and deserve our deepest gratitude.” 

A number of events celebrating the anniversary will be held throughout the year including a brunch in recognition of its activity partners, as well as a Masquerade Gala set to take place this fall.

PRO Kids would like to thank its partners, donors, volunteers, board and fundraising committee members and various other stakeholders for their support over the years. “It has been my privilege to coordinate the PRO Kids service for the past 25 years,” said Daniele. “I recognize the value that recreation has on child development. It builds character and keeps kids healthy both physically and mentally.”

More information on PRO Kids can be found by visiting  

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Contact:       Laura Daniele, PRO Kids Coordinator, 625-3212,